In this article I am going to talk about my 3 most used cues when coaching the deadlift or deadlifting myself.
The deadlift looks like a straight forward movement and it actually is. The problem arises when you take people that don't have the correct mobility (majority of modern day population), strength imbalances, bad habits or when trying to lift very heavy weights. May I add I am all for lifting as heavy as possible and this is as much valid reason to have cues to keep us safe as deadlifting just to be fit.
For this reason I like to use cues that help us remember how we should deadlift, they also help to improve mental focus and confidence before the lift.
Ok so let's get going... my 3 deadlift cues
1. Show your logo
You know that logo on your shirt? It says Nike, Gymshark or Reebok right? Show it. This cue is used to ensure your chest is high and helps keep a neutral spine and prevent rounded back. A nice high chest will put you in an optimum position to pull the deadlift.
2. Pull The Slack
This is probably my all time favourite deadlift cue. Once you are all set up in position and your hands are gripped around the bar, pull the slack. This means pulling the weight enough that your body engages but you don't tire yourself out or lift the bar off the ground. Pulling the slack will help with 2 main things:
- Take out any unstable movement that could arise out of the bar (barbell slightly moving between the weights).
- Engages your entire body putting it in a ready position to explode out of the starting blocks.
3. Drive your heels
Your feet are your only contact with the floor and the foundation of the lift. Visualise yourself pushing the ground away from you so hard that it will move. Be positive - you are not being push away from the ground - you are pushing the ground away from you. This will help you achieve maximum leg drive - extremely important for people that have a tendency to rely too much on their back pulling the movement.
These are my 3 favourite deadlift cues. Give them a go and let me know what you think in the comments below.